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On the line from Vegas: Bettors taking Browns plus 3 over Bills

By Tim Graham

LasVegasSportsBookAlong with everyone else, Las Vegas is trying to figure out what to make of the Buffalo Bills.

"What I've seen in the first couple weeks is just a lot of overreacting in terms of the betting public," said Joel Staniszewski, an oddsmaker for Las Vegas Sports Consultants.

Every week for the rest of the season, I'll check in with Staniszewski. He's a St. Joe's and Buffalo State grad who works for one of the world's most influential sports-betting firms. LVSC helps set the odds and spreads we accept as the standard.

But just two weeks into the season, there's little certainty.

"It's tough," Staniszewski said from the LVSC offices Thursday. "In the offseason and preseason the Jets were embarrassing. So that line for opening day opened at 5 1/2 and went down to 3. The Bills got manhandled.

"So the second week, the line was lower and people were betting the Chiefs. We see how that went."

The Bills opened as 3-point road favorites over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Staniszewski said action has been limited on the game, but a majority of the money wagered has been on Cleveland.

"Sharp bettors are basing it on trends," Staniszewski said. "The Browns have their backs against the wall and are pretty much in a must-win game at home. After this they play the Ravens and the Giants, both on the road.

"The Browns are arguably the best 0-2 team in the league. They're three plays away from being 2-0. They could have beaten Philly and could have won last week against the Bengals. They've lost by a combined eight points in two weeks.

"That's what the betting public is looking at right now."

And here's the type of Vegas analysis we hope to deliver in this series:

Teams that start a season 0-2 are 80-57-1 in Week Three against the spread, a .584 win percentage.

"If you base your betting on that kind of success, you have a pretty profitable bankroll," Staniszewski said.

The win percentage goes up to .642 when betting only the 0-2 underdogs.

For the record, Sunday's over/under total is 43 1/2.

The last time the Bills were road favorites was Week Four last year. The Cincinnati Bengals were 3-point underdogs and won outright, 23-20.

(Photo: Associated Press)

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On the line from Vegas
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | [email protected]


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | [email protected]


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | [email protected]

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